Chancellor's Scholarship Winners 2013

Stephanie Lee
Michigan City

Pursuit: Associate of Science Degree in Liberal Arts

After being out of the classroom for fifteen years, Stephanie Lee, decided to enroll at Ivy Tech. Although, it has not been easy juggling school work, house work and parenting-it has been worth it to prove to herself and her daughters what dedication and commitment are all about. Her goals for the future are to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Debra Bodza
Michigan City

Pursuit: Associate of Science Degree in Elementary Education

Debra Bodza has made a career working with children. First, at a Y-Care center, then after learning sign language she worked as an interpreter for the Porter County School System. Her love for this type of work drove her to pursue an Associate of Science Degree in Education. It is this same passion she has for her own education and life that has also helped her persevere through a battle with cancer. This scholarship will make her journey just a bit easier and goals a bit more attainable.

Patricia Everly Lykins
Michigan City

Pursuit: Associate in Education

It wasn't until her children were grown that she was able to stop and ask herself, what next? The answer was college. For the past 13 years she has worked as a paraprofessinal for the Michigan City School System. She is pursuing a degree in education in order to take her experience and passion for her work to the next level. This scholarship means that her goal is getting closer. "I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to."

Cheryl Plummer
Michigan City

Pursuit: Associate in Education

It wasn't until her children were grown that she was able to stop and ask herself, what next? The answer was college. For the past 13 years she has worked as a paraprofessinal for the Michigan City School System. She is pursuing a degree in education in order to take her experience and passion for her work to the next level. This scholarship means that her goal is getting closer. "I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to."

Beth Applegate
East Chicago

Pursuit: Degree in Mortuary Science

When Beth Applegate graduated high school she did not have a clear picture of where she wanted to go. At that time, she felt like college would be a waste for her. After twenty years at the same job she was forced to take a buyout and move on. She found her path when a good friend of hers passed away and after a couple very emotional days the funeral director she had dealt with asked if she had ever considered a career in mortuary science; soon after she enrolled in the Mortuary Science program. "I was nervous at first, going back to school after so many years. However, receiving this scholarship tells me I am doing well and that people believe in me to complete my degree. With this help, I know nothing will get in the way of my graduating."

Heather Kopf
East Chicago

Pursuit: Associate of Science in nursing

Heather Kopf always knew she wanted to work in the medical field. However, shortly after high school, her life took a different path than originally planned. She got married and started a family. Now, five years later, she is once again in the classroom pursuing an associate of science degree in nursing. "Once I have completed my Associates degree I plan to pursue my Bachelor in Nursing and then my Master’s to become a nurse anesthetist. With my strong support system at home and this scholarship nothing will get in my way."

Cheryl Livengood
East Chicago

Pursuit: Accounting

The life story of Cheryl Livengood is like so many others: young bride, young mother, divorced, single mother, blended family, etc. However, no matter where her life journey led she always knew she would go back to school and get a college degree. "For years, I have worked for a non-profit organization. I love being part of this organization because they make a huge difference to individuals in need on a daily basis and help them meet a basic human need. With my degree in accounting I plan to stay in the non-profit world and give back whenever possible. This scholarship has truly made a huge difference to me as an individual."

Ricky Johnson
Gary

Pursuit: Hospitality Management

In 2001, Ricky Johnson, began college at Spartanburg Technical College in Spartanburg South Carolina. However, after only one year he had to withdraw in order to work full-time because he became a father. Now, three children and many years later he has found his way back into the classroom to pursue his dream of becoming an executive chef. He currently works part-time to support his children while going to school. "It is definitely a hard road some days. But this scholarship has made that road just a bit less bumpy and the end quite a bit closer."

Cynthia Smitka
Gary

Pursuit: Business Administration

"I have always been a strong proponent of getting a good education and believe that knowledge is essential to improving the quality of life", explained Cynthia Smitka. She encourages her sons to study and learn everything they can teaching them to maintain a balance between work and play. It wasn’t until last year, however, that she decided it was time to practice what she preached. She made that decision because a good friend reminded her that sometimes to know where you are going, you have to get back to your dreams. So, despite her insecurities she enrolled. "This scholarship is a step towards getting back to my dreams and becoming a more well-rounded, confident business woman."

Ruben Mendez
Gary

Pursuit: Business Administration

Ruben Mendez is a married father of five and a ten year veteran of the United States Air Force. Both he and he and his wife are students here at Ivy Tech. He has been unemployed since 2011 and his wife lost her job in 2012. This has definitely posed financial challenges for them. "This scholarship will make a world of difference to not only me but to my family as I will be able to complete my degree in Business Administration. I plan to one day achieve my Bachelors of Science degree in Business."

Tiffany Cowger
Gary

Pursuit: Physical Therapy Assistant

Tiffany Cowger has been a stay at home mom for the last nine years and has three amazing children. Now that they are all in school all day she knew it was time for her to pursue a career. "Attending college has been an incredible roller coaster of challenges for me. But I have made it with great success. I am proud to be an Ivy Tech student and of the work that I have put into achieving my goals. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity and award."

Mark Chavez
Valparaiso

Pursuit: Accounting

"It took me some time in life to decide to attend college", said Mark Chavez. A bit older than the traditional student, he works and cares for his parents. So is time limited. Outside of those obligations he also volunteers at a local shelter for men and food pantry. He enjoys the time he spends helping others because it makes him more appreciative of the things he has and makes his struggles seem a bit easier. "Education is my key to a better life, to new opportunities and the confidence to live up to my full potential."

Cynthia Napier
Valparaiso

Pursuit: Nursing

"I decided to become a nurse because I have seen the difference that a qualified nurse can make through the lives of my family, friends and my own personal experience," said Cynthia Napier. She plans to work hard to finish her degree so she can give back to her community. "This scholarship is just another incentive for me to give back because I have been so lucky in what I have been given."

Olivia Sanders
Valparaiso

Pursuit: Industrial Maintenance

In high school, Olivia Sanders, discovered that computers and electronics classes were her favorite. Thanks to Title 9, encouraging girls to think about careers outside of traditional gender roles; that interest translated into a major of study at Ivy Tech, however, this is only the beginning to her academic career. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business. "This scholarship will allow me to continue studying what I love."